Money is an important part of life and has been debated throughout the ages. In the scripture, God speaks clearly about the importance of money and the need for financial security. But does God want us to have money? This article will explore what the Bible says about having wealth and how people can use their financial resources to serve God’s will.
Does God Want Us To Have Money?
Jesus speaks more about wealth and money than any other New Testament topic. These are his harshest statements regarding worshipping wealth above God.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”Matthew 19:24
Jesus taught many parables that involved money and talents. He often warned about the dangers associated with putting money and material wealth before following God. Paul, the apostle, adds in 1 Timothy 6;10 that “For the love of money” is a root cause of all sorts of evil.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.1 Timothy 6:10
Is it our duty as Christians to avoid all forms of material wealth?
No! I believe God wants to have money. Money isn’t evil. It is part of Creation. The only problem is that we need to understand how money affects our lives.
Money speaks volumes about your heart.
Matthew 6:21 says…
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:21
Pop culture has made the heart synonymous with identity and the innermost being. When you say to someone, “I am giving you my heart,” you’re allowing them access to your thoughts and emotions. When someone says, “I have a love for the poor,” it is a sign that they are connected with them and care about them. Throughout Scripture, the heart is used to represent your inner self.
What we consider valuable in the world (i.e., Our heart, identity, and innermost value (i.e., “treasure”) is ultimately what we consider valuable in the world. Money is a universal value. We can exchange money for paper bills, coins, and numbers via a smartphone app. Because money is an abstraction, Matthew 6:21’s verse can be rephrased as follows: “Wherever you spend treasure… there your identity, innermost values, and your wealth are also.”
If you spend your money on travel, then you treasure a well-traveled person who has had many different experiences.
It is a sign that you value fashion and self-expression if you spend a lot on clothes and shoes.
You aren’t quite out of the loop if you do not spend much money. Do you keep most of your money in the banks? You may value future security and frugality. Are you a saver who invests all you have? You may value delayed gratification, preparedness, or a sense of control.
What you do with your money reveals what your priorities and values are. It’s less obvious that how you view money and feel about it will reveal more about your inner treasures. Here are some more real-life examples.
Are you a credit shopper who spends too much on credit? Perhaps you’ve put your treasure into fitting in or social status.
Can you budget well and keep track of every dollar in a spreadsheet? Perhaps you value control and discipline in spending.
Are you able to live cheaply and save as much money as possible? Maybe you need the idea of financial security and delayed gratification.
No matter what your outlook is, there will be a treasure somewhere.
Let me give you an example. As a child, I was taught to be generous and selfless. I was also taught thriftiness and budget consciousness at home. These were all combined, and I naturally assumed that spending less on myself was better. I wanted to avoid wasting my money on material goods. As I’ve grown in my understanding of money, I realized that I wasn’t fully aware of it. Overspending is not a sin. Trusting God is the key. While I was good about not having “worldly” treasures, I was also guilty of keeping my internal treasures. This was because I felt self-righteous and in control of how much money I had. Both of these are signs that I lack the need for God. Sometimes, these things prevented me from living the generously loving life God intends for us.
Money reveals our attitude toward God
An older, wiser Christian once said that frugality was not something God values in His kingdom. Why? Because there is no need to hoard money or conserve resources in a kingdom with abundance. Values like generosity, love of others, and genuine relationships are what is most elevated. Scripture repeatedly reinforces the importance of not having financial acumen or being shrewd in living. Instead, Scripture emphasizes the simple values of trusting God and wanting to live a life that glorifies Him.
It is not how much money you spend that matters. It’s how you use it. God values a heart that is open and honest. He admires cheerful givers. He admires people who manage their resources well. He loves those who can trust and rely on him above all others. Money is one area in which we admit that we are not the sole arbiters and owners of our resources.
Because money in this world is a tangible and viable alternative to living in dependence upon God, it is difficult for rich people to get into the kingdom of God. However, I do not believe money is evil. The love for money causes all kinds of evil. God is the creator of all things and resources. This includes the idea of money. He doesn’t want money or any other value/attitude towards money to be above him. There are many idols humans can build to replace God, whether frugality, extravagance, or value for tomorrow, under-planning and over-planning.
God wants us to have money.
Yes, I believe God desires us to have money.
Money is a resource that allows us to survive. Jesus came to live so that we might live and enjoy the fullness of life.
How we manage and spend money is a sign of where we place trust and what we value. Money is a way to deepen (or shun) our relationship with God.
Take a look at the parable about talents.
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’Matthew 25:14-30
It doesn’t matter if we have one, five, or ten talents. It doesn’t matter if you have more or less money. It is what we do that matters. The attitude we have towards God is what matters. The Old Testament shows that God was not impressed by the sacrifices and offerings in the temple for things but rather for the hearts of those he desires to lead.
Money is not ours. It’s tempting to believe that the largest factors in our money are our choices, abilities, and efforts. People are born into poverty or wealth. What about the family support, network opportunities, and stable learning environments that give us the skills and options we need?
Money is both a God-given blessing and a God-given responsibility. Money is an abstraction of natural resources. Time, however, is another resource. God gave the world, which includes money, to humans in Genesis. If God intends us to take responsibility for natural resources, it is clear that God WANTS us to do so (and be intentional about it).
In conclusion, the Bible is clear that God wants us to have money. Money provides an opportunity to be generous and to help others while at the same time providing us with security and peace of mind in our lives. It’s important to remember that wealth can lead to pride and temptation, so seeking it out while also living a humble life is a key balance we must strive for.